Game combines blackjack, trivia, strategy

HOLLYWOOD — Game Show Network and King World Intl. Prods. are taking a gamble on a new show called “Casino.”

The companies are co-financing a pilot for the show from creator-exec producer Merrill Heatter, which King World Intl. Prods. and Merrill Heatter Prods. are producing. Lensing gets under way on the pilot Monday in Los Angeles.

Concept is a classic blackjack-style card game mixed with trivia. The twist is that contestants not only get the opportunity to build their own blackjack hands, they can take cards that come up to sabotage opponents’ hands and cause them to go bust, GSN senior VP of programming and development Bob Boden told Daily Variety.

The winner in each episode has the chance to play for a $100,000 grand prize.

Ron Pearson is hosting. Paul Buccieri is co-exec producing.

“It’s a game with a lot of familiar icons, like blackjack, as well as a terrific new layer of strategy,” Boden said.

Boden added that the pilot reps GSN’s first foray into the casino game genre.

“We’re very interested in shows that have a casino theme to them that use familiar casino games in a gameshow format,” he said.

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